Dr. Michael Marder is Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country where, for example, he teaches courses in “Ecology and Phenomenology,” and “Philosophical Anthropology.” His research interests include ethical and political philosophy, environmental philosophy, and phenomenology, and he has authored a number of books on these topics. I invite Michael on the podcast to discuss plant phenomenology, or what he calls “phytophenomenology,” in other words, a combination of phenomenology, botany, and population ecology. Considering many psychedelics stem from a range of plant species, we’re going to find out what it is like to be a plant; to what degree plants are sentient and intelligent; and how the above relate to psychedelics in general and what we can infer about Tabernanthe iboga. Topics of our discussion include: what “phenomenology” is and its application to plant subjectivity; alienness of plant life; rather than anthropomorphize plants, Michael wants to vegetalize humans; signs of plant intelligence and communication; Nietzsche’s “will to power” and Heidegger’s “standing reserve” as two sides of the same coin; plant phenotypic expression through human consumers; plants using humans possibly more than humans using plants; psychedelics affording experiences of the world through their plant consciousness and perception; the ethics of eating a plant’s psychoactive alkaloids, considering alkaloids are defense mechanisms caused by stressors in the plant’s environment (akin to eating meat from stressed animals, similarly speaking); plant and animal co-evolution; and “clashing lifeworlds,” e.g., experiencing the intersection of sober and psychedelic lifeworlds. To find out more about Michael, visit his website at (https://www.michaelmarder.org). Also, visit my Podcast Supplements article regarding afterthoughts of Michael and I’s conversation (https://amhouot.com/88-ep3-6_psychedelic-phenomenology-or-what-is-it-like-to-be-a-psychedelic-plant_michael-marder/).
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